Service Centers

As a recipient of federal funding, the University must comply with federal regulations, OMB Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. §200), Subpart E (§200.468), that require service units to charge according to actual usage at non-discriminatory rates calculated to recover no more than the actual costs of the service provided. Non-compliance could harm the University's reputation and reflect negatively on future award proposals, and could also lead to repayments or fines to the government. Because of this, the University has created policy and guidelines to help direct the operation of service center facilities in FAS.

Are you operating a Service Center at FAS covered under this policy?

  • Are your operating expenses over $100,000 per year?
  • Do you bill over $75,000 to federal awards annually?

If you answered yes to either of the questions above, your facility is covered under the Harvard University Service Center Policy.

What do I do if my faculty member approaches me to begin billing for goods or services?

Take a moment to think about the following:

  1. Is this service available elsewhere on campus?
  2. Is the need for this service short-term or long-term?
  3. Is this service provided for, or subsidized by, a federal award?
  4. What portion of users will be internal vs. external?

Harvard's Review & Approval Process for New Service Centers

Click on the flow chart below for a helpful overview on the review and approval process for new service centers.

flow chart of the review and approval process for new service centers

Is there an annual review process?

Yes, RAS will sit down with you annually in the spring to review your service center operations and will perform a rate review for the following fiscal year.

What if I bring on a new service mid-year?

Submit the rate documentation sheet or equivalent for the new service before implementation for approval by RAS.

Is there guidance available to provide guidance on establishing, maintaining and accounting for academic service centers?

Yes, a comprehensive procedures manual is available.

What if I have a question?

We encourage you to reach out to Nuala McGowan in FAS RAS with any questions around service center operations at FAS.